GENEVA (Oct. 30)
The Soviet Union announced its intention today of contributing to the “peace” of the Middle East. This declaration was made to newsmen by Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov following a lengthy meeting with Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. It is understood that Mr. Dulles protested to Mr. Molotov that the Communist decision to supply arms to the Middle East violated the “Geneva spirit.”
“Russia will contribute to the peace of the Middle East, as it will all over the world,” Mr. Molotov said. Pressed for further details of this contribution, the Soviet Foreign Minister said: “I cannot say more.” Earlier, the Moscow radio had blamed the Middle East crisis on the West, which it charged with “gross interference” in the affairs of the region by setting up military blocs.
Beside his hour and 40-minute meeting with Mr. Molotov, Secretary Dulles had another 100-minute meeting with Israel Premier Moshe Sharett, who was accompanied to the meeting by Ambassador Abba Eban. After the meeting, Mr. Sharett told newsmen that he had “had a very full talk, covering the ground very adequately. Mr. Dulles, I hope, was left in no misconception about the position of Israel in the present embroglio. I did not gather that the United States Government had yet reached a final conclusion on how to deal with the situation. It will now be in a position to make up its mind in full cognition of what Israel thinks of the dangers threatening and the line of action she believes should be followed.”
Mr. Sharett further told newsmen that “Israel considers that her very existence is menaced by this massive increase in strength falling to her strongest and most pronounced enemy. If it is impossible to prevent this massive increase, then Israel’s military positions should be strengthened as far as possible. Also, there should be added a security guarantee which might act as a deterrent to any evil design of aggression against her territorial integrity and very survival.”
SHARETT TO SEE MOLOTOV TODAY; MANY MEETINGS THIS WEEK-END
Todays developments came after a week-end of meetings among the Western Foreign Ministers and between Mr. Sharett and each of the Western representatives. Mr. Dulles’ meeting with Mr. Molotov was preceded by one between British Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan and Mr. Molotov. Mr. Sharett, who was to confer with Mr. Macmillan late this evening, has an appointment with Mr. Molotov for tomorrow. The Israel Premier is now expected to leave for Jerusalem on Tuesday. All contacts between the Western representatives and Mr. Molotov took place on the “fringe” of the Big Four parley. The Middle East question has not become part of the agenda of the East-West parley, although its explosive nature overshadows the German question at the moment.
Reports from many quarters here agreed that the Western Foreign Ministers had decided to turn a deaf ear to Mr. Sharett’s pleas for more arms for Israel to balance Czech shipments to Egypt. The request for specific security guarantees to Israel was also reportedly turned down. Instead, the representatives of the West, signatories of the Tripartite Declaration of 1950, were understood to be prepared to voice once again the principles of that declaration, which they consider as still in force. This is highly unsatisfactory to Israel.
In an interview recorded for the British Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Sharett charged that neither the United States nor Britain had adhered to the tripartite statement. The U.S., he underlined, had concluded an arms deal with Iraq, while Britain had supplied arms to Egypt while denying them to Israel. A guarantee of Israel’s security should come “as a supplement” to arms. The Israel Premier said that there had been nothing “that could be described as a Soviet arms offer” to Israel.
The Western foreign ministers are understood to be contemplating a call to end the violence in the Middle East and, at the same time, to go ahead with plans for expanding and strengthening the Bagdad Pact, which they see as no threat to Israel bur rather as a defense for the region against Soviet pressure. In some diplomatic circles the belief was expressed that Britain is not as cold as the U.S. is toward the idea of a four-power guarantee for Israel, which they believe M. Moloto will offer Premier Sharett tomorrow. However, the British and Americans have worked out a common approach on the Middle East situation, and there has been no talk between the two partners of any four power guarantees which would include the U.S.S.R